IT’S an old saying that “a week is a long time in sport” but never was this cliché more apt than for Doncaster Knights in the first few days of the New Year.
They returned to Doncaster from Devon around 5am on New Year’s Eve having been beaten by second bottom Plymouth Albion with a performance that all the players would admit was well below par.
And yet last Saturday, with an outstanding display by backs and forwards alike, Knights convincingly beat second-placed Bedford Blues by 33-12.
Clearly a lot of work was put in during the week before the Bedford game and, I suspect, a lot of heart searching, as the Knights squad are a proud and passionate group of players.
The players and the coaching staff need congratulating on a performance that had Castle Park buzzing with anticipation for the remainder of the season.
The Championship is approaching the end of what is termed the “regular season” which decides the top eight teams that go into the promotion play-offs and the bottom four that go into the relegation play-offs.
Although Knights currently share seventh place with Nottingham, both clubs are 15 points clear of ninth-placed placed London Scottish with just five games left.
Interestingly, both clubs are only nine points behind Bedford who are still second. Knights’ game away at Nottingham on Sunday is of added significance as who ever wins will obviously be alone in seventh position and could go even higher as they are both currently within three points of sixth-placed Rotherham Titans.
At the beginning of the season the Championship organisers built in two free Saturdays to allow for games lost to the weather and it’s ironic that no fixtures have been postponed so far. We even went so far as to buy new frost covers!
The RFU have announced that our home game against local rivals Rotherham on Saturday, February 18 will be live on Sky TV, kicking off at 12.05pm.
With Titans in fine form, and the Knights looking to repeat their performances against Bedford and Cornish Pirates, it promises to be a cracking game and one that will attract a big crowd.
It’s one of the anomalies of life that live sport on TV seems to attract bigger crowds when one would have perhaps expected the opposite.
Knights’ target is to reach their ground capacity which is just over 5,000 so buy early. Tickets will go on sale shortly.